This is a thread to discuss where the Labour Party should go next, now that its leadership contest has concluded.
If Starmer wants to unify the party, his approach must be purely postive, not punitive.
He can't do that by staging Kinnock-style mass purges of the left-and I think he realizes that Kinnock was wrong to persecute socialists for electoral defeats which were mainly Kinnock's own fault.
He knows there is no public support for going back to the Third Way-an outdated and irrelevant set of essentially Tory policies that have no utility in this day and age.
If Starmer learned anything from the collapse of the Red Wall, Starmer should have learned that it did Labour nothing but damage for him and the PLP to keep pushing the party to go hardline Remain-he himself had SAID that Brexit was a settled issue in 2017.
Here are three things I'd advise him to do:
1) Keep the policies radical-if Labour doesn't stay left wing, it ceases to have any reason to exist-but have fewer of them, get them out to the electorate earlier than in 2019-the policies were almost entirely popular; it was simply the amount of them that did damage. Get the explanation out about costing earlier, too;
2) On antisemitism, limit the investigation SOLELY to incidents where people actually displayed bigotry towards Jews as people or Judaism as a set of cultural and religious traditions; make it clear that criticism of the Israeli government or opposition to Zionism as a now-permanently right wing, oppressive and bigoted nationalist movement, a natioalist movement which long ago abandoned its project of liberating people from oppression and is now reduced to nothing but the meaningless and essentially fascist projecct of taking land from another national community for the SAKE of taking the land from another national community has nothing whatsoever in common with bigotry towards or the oppressio of people who are Jewish. The investigation being demanded is ONLY legitimate if that clear distinction is made. Also, do NOT adopt that portion of the BoD "pledges' which deny those accused of antisemitism the presumption of innocence and which threaten party members with suspension or expulsion simply for expressing the view that those accused could have been falsely accused-a "pledge" the BoD had no justification for insisting on, since many accusations of AS within the party have turnout out to be false;
3) Introduce Open Selection for all sitting MPs-Corbyn was too loyal to his own MPs-showing them a loyalty they never once extended to him-to do this, but it is essential, as Labour can only be a party that represents the values of its rank and file-the people Labour exists TO represent and embody;
Those choices would unify and strengthen the party. The choice of punishment and mass expulsions, coupled with a Kinnock-style total abandonment of socialism, would do nothing but harm.
What the electorate is looking for is strong, anti-austerity socialist leadership-the coronavirus situation has totally discredited all "moderate" or "fiscally conservative" policy ideas and everyone accepts that there must now be a massive public investment in reviving those areas of the UK that the Tories and New Labour largely left to rot economically-Wales, the North,the Northeast, the Midlands-and simply in keeping the people of the UK alive during the pandemic.
Starmer needs to speak with radical fire. He can only beat the Tories if he connects with the young who joined Labour in the hundreds of thousands, since 2015, none of whom can be induced to vote for Labour in 2024 if it "moves to the center" and abandons their generation to the miseries of "market values-AND offers the voters in the former Red Wall constituencies-the ones who are furious with the party for it's pointless abandonment of the "we accept the results of the referendum" pledge from 2017, the ones who see the EU as bearing as much responsiblity for the economic decline of their region as Margaret Thatcher and her ruling class vindictiveness. Starmer has to connect with those groups and has to accept that it is pointless to try to win over "socially progressive, fiscally conservative" voters in an era where such voters simply no longer exist in the UK.
Starmer can only win if he accepts that there is nothing in common between this era and the 1990s, and that nothing Labour did in the 1990s has any useful application in this era.
He needs to be strong, but he also needs to focus any anger he might feel solely toward the Tories, because it is the Tories that are the enemy, not the socialists.